The competition among firms to attract and retain top talent is fierce. Companies are constantly striving to improve their selection processes. However, companies are only able to achieve incremental improvements. Companies that do not have a robust selection process find it more difficult to attract and retain top talent.
Selection process in HRM | Quick Overview
The selection process in HRM includes the relevant steps to hire the most relevant candidate with right qualifications, skills, and attitudes to fill either a currently open position or a position that is likely to open up in the particular organization.
Importance of the selection process in HRM
According to a McKinsey report, 82 percent of executives at Fortune 500 companies believe that their companies do not have the right selection process for attracting top talent. The same report also highlights that superior talent is up to eight times more productive, underscoring the importance of a good selection process for any organization.
The importance of selecting the right person for the job arises from the fact that the right selection has an outsized impact on the organization’s overall performance. It costs time and money to employ individuals to review resumes, shortlist applicants, and then interview the shortlisted candidates. The high cost makes it imperative to have a selection process that is right for the role and is fair.
The selection tests aim to pick the best person for the role. The cost of selecting and training the wrong individual is significant. A bad selection brings down the organization’s overall performance, and the cost of replacing a bad hire is much greater than hiring and retaining a new individual.
Role of technology in the selection process
In recruiting top talent, using technological tools for rigorous statistical analysis helps make better selection decisions. The effectiveness of technological tools has a huge impact on how companies select people. According to published research, individuals selected by computers are likely to stay with an organization longer and perform as well or better than individuals picked by humans.
Another HBR study found that hiring algorithms bettered human selections by at least 25 percent. The HBR study found that this was true for any situation when the number of candidates was large, irrespective of whether the hiring was for the junior level, the middle management, or the C-suite.
Companies now increasingly use tech tools and suitable algorithms to screen individuals with specific character traits. Many firms find that attrition reduces when they administer an online employment test to replace the recruitment screening process.
Tech tools can obtain data from sources such as LinkedIn to warn organizations when their top talent may be contemplating a job change. The use of technology in the selection process is still in its infancy. However, firms that do not embrace technology in the selection process are likely to make wrong choices and fall behind in the race for talent.
5 Key Steps in Selection Process in HRM
The key steps in the selection process include the following:
1. Developing Selection Criteria
Criteria development is the first step of the recruitment process. It involves defining the criteria used and how they will be scored during the selection. The criteria are developed based on an analysis of the role and the job specifications. This involves a discussion on the skills and competencies required for the role.
In addition, the criteria may include aspects such as personality, attitude, and cultural fit. It is important to define the criteria before the resumes are reviewed to ensure that the process of shortlisting individuals for interviews is objective and fair.
2. Receipt of Applications and Resume Review
After the criteria for selection have been defined, the stage is set for reviewing applications. The application process must include the filling of a standardized application form by all interested candidates.
The process design should collect all required data regarding applicants’ bio-data, educational qualifications, professional experience, etc.,. If the developed criteria demand it, information such as the applicant’s interests and skills outside work may also be collected to gain a broader view of the applicants.
A comprehensive application helps select between closely matched candidates. The application/resume review could be done manually, or tech tools could be deployed for the purpose. Tech tools search for specified application keywords and prepare a preliminary shortlist for a detailed manual review.
The application screening committee includes relevant team leads, HR member(s), subject matter experts, and anybody else who could help select the candidate who best fits the defined criteria.
3. Conduct Interviews
Once the applications have been screened to create the interview shortlist, the next step is the employment interview to test the candidates. The candidate shortlist helps identify those that meet the minimum criteria for selection. Consequently, the number of shortlisted candidates could be large.
To prune down this number, as an initial screening, many organizations conduct a preliminary telephonic interview to further narrow the shortlist. The preliminary interview often assesses the proficiency, skills, IQ, attitudes, etc., of the applicants to screen out individuals who do not fit the criteria.
The individuals on the final shortlist are then interviewed. Depending on the role and the type of industry, organizations might conduct other types of interviews, such as behavioral interviews, case interviews, stress interviews, etc., to decide on their final selection. During the interview, organizations provide candidates with a detailed brief on the company and the responsibilities of the role that the person is expected to fill.
The interview is normally taken by a panel of interviewers carefully selected for their professional knowledge and their judgment in making a fair and correct choice of the best candidate for the organization.
4. Background Checks
The interview process narrows down the field to a final shortlist of two or three candidates. These candidates undergo further checks such as medical examinations, personality tests, credit report checks, interest tests, criminal background checks, reference checks, work samples, etc., to decide on the final selection to be made.
Although interviews are a good means of getting to know the candidate, reference and background checks are required for reconfirmation. Reference checks also verify the candidate’s professional skills and work ethic. For background checks, typically, organizations contact previous employers or relevant educational institutions in the case of fresh graduates.
5. Making the Offer
The final step in the selection process is making an offer of employment to the selected candidate. The offer will outline details such as the role’s responsibilities, the date of joining, salary, benefits, etc. Depending upon the position, the appointment letter may specify a probation period with an assurance of permanent absorption on satisfactory completion of the probation period.
Top 6 Metrics Important for Selection Process
It is important to have metrics to assess the effectiveness of the organization’s selection process. The top six metrics used in the selection process include
1. Time to Fill Position
This metric determines the time that elapses between a vacant position and filling it. The time to fill varies depending on the position and the industry. For example, it will typically take longer to fill a position in the healthcare industry compared to the call center industry. A shorter time to fill indicates higher efficiency in the organization and leads to lower costs to fill the position.
2. Interview to Hire Ratio
This metric helps reveal the effectiveness of the organization’s sourcing and screening process. If, in an organization, the interview-to-hire ratio is high, it means that the organization has high overall hiring efficiency.
3. Time per Process Step
This selection productivity metric assesses the time spent by the candidate in each step of the selection process. Analyzing the time spent in each process step helps identify and eliminate process bottlenecks. More time per process step usually also increases the cost to fill.
4. Hire Quality
This metric is also known as the first-year quality. This is the percentage of candidates selected from the shortlist plus the percentage of these that stay on with the firm, divided by two. This metric measures the effectiveness of the selection process in picking individuals with quality and loyalty.
5. Offer Acceptance Rate
This is the ratio of job offers to the number of offers accepted. This rate also varies depending on the role and the industry. If your acceptance rate is low, it could mean that the offer is not competitive enough or is too slow.
6. Application Drop-off Rate
This metric determines the number of candidates who start the application process and then abandon it midway. Improving this metric ensures a better candidate experience and helps the organization access more talent.
The workplace of the 21st century is different. The talent competition is also different, so the selection process must stay in step for it to be effective. Organizations now need to compete with work options that were previously unavailable to employees.
To attract and hire the best talent, they must not only offer competitive salaries and benefits but also acknowledge employees’ changed expectations. The selection process in the new-gen HRM needs to leverage technology to make data-driven decisions to ensure that productivity and efficiency in the process are high.